Giving Tree 2023

Giving Tree 2023

Adopt a family or individual(s) to bless this Christmas!
Please visit our table on the weekends of Nov. 4/5, 11/12 and 18/19
In The Commons

Return your wrapped gift(s) – unless your tag specifies not to wrap – on Nov. 25/ 26 and Dec. 2/3
To the Commons
Saturdays (11/25 &12/2)
3:00 PM until 5:30 PM
Sundays (11/26 &12/3)
7:00 AM until 1:30 PM

Ways you can support our ministry:

  • Purchase gifts for a family or individual(s) in need
  • Bring your monetary donation in your Giving Tree envelope to Mass and place it in the collection basket
  • Donate new gift items (unused/unopened) to fill where needed.

Want to volunteer?

Check to see what shifts might still be open at smip.org/GivingTree or inquire at our table for other opportunities to assist.

Other questions?
Call Robin Contreras (815)814-8457

Can’t bring your gifts to either of the designated drop-off weekends? Then we must have your gifts preceding either of the weekends they are due.

Call Robin Contreras

St Mary’s – Church Special Appeal – Painting and Pews

Dear Friends and Parishioners,

As you may be aware, we kicked off a Capital Campaign in January 2019 which encountered significant setbacks due to the protracted pandemic shutdown. While we managed to secure over $726,000 in pledges to date, it amounts to only 42% of the $1,702,000 we initially anticipated before the world was brought to a standstill in March 2020 by the COVID-19 virus.

Despite the obstacles, we’ve achieved remarkable things with the funds we’ve collected so far:

  • A brand new Sound System for the Church
  • New Skylights, along with necessary roofing and insulation improvements for the Commons and school
  • Vital repairs to the church’s cross roof area
  • New roofing for the church’s north wing
  • Revitalized roofing and siding for the Rectory
  • A 20% deposit for painting the church’s interior, slated for Summer 2024

The great news is that we have now gathered enough resources to cover the entire interior painting contract. This includes beautifying the walls and ceiling, along with the narthex and ambulatory areas. Father Pat is eager to create an atmosphere that is more hallowed, reverent, and purposeful. His vision is to underline the divine connection between heaven and earth during the consecration by adorning the dome above the altar with a celestial night sky, adorned with stars, symbolizing the heavens.

Additionally, we seek to enhance the nave with Marian images, providing parishioners with moments of contemplation before, during, and after Mass. On the upper walls behind you as you sit in church are four bumpouts. We’ve discovered four beautiful images that will adorn the walls above the doors: Madonna and Child, The Miraculous Medal, Mother and Child in Heaven, and Casa Barbieri (Mary and Jesus surrounded by angels). Two of these images have been generously sponsored by the Friends of Good Shepherd, and two are privately memorialized.

This image will be painted to match the rest

Father Pat also envisions the creation of a custom painting for the reredos and entire eastern walls of the church. This will emphasize all glory and honor bestowed upon Jesus Christ in the tabernacle, weaving in the symbolism of our stained-glass windows on the eastern walls, seamlessly merging with the liturgical experience.

As we plan to relocate summer Masses to the gym for the interior painting project, it’s an opportune moment to address the state of our aging pews. We seek to have them refurbished to their former glory, ensuring they serve us for many more years to come. While the initial estimate for refinishing them in place was $84,000, they have deteriorated further due to pandemic-related sanitization efforts. Therefore, we now intend to take them off-site for a comprehensive refurbishment, involving proper stripping, sanding, re-gluing, board replacements as needed, staining, and sealing, ensuring they remain magnificent for years to come. While we await the bids, we anticipate that the cost will exceed the $195,000 quote for offsite refurbishing we received in 2019.

Today, we earnestly seek your support for this vision through various avenues:

  • Honoring a loved one with a star painted on our domed ceiling, whether in celebration or remembrance. Please note that their names will not be on the stars, but a plaque in the narthex will commemorate their significance. Donations are recommended at $500 for small stars, $1,000 for medium stars, and $2,500 for large stars.
  • Donations in any denomination, starting at $100, to contribute to the artistic painting of the eastern walls and reredos.
  • Underwriting the custom artist’s fees or contributing to the reredos painting with donations of $2,000 and above.
  • Support for the structural and artistic enhancements to the tabernacle altar with a donation of $5,000.
  • Sponsoring the pew refurbishing project, with options of $500 for small pews, $1,000 for medium pews, or $2,500 for larger pews.

We understand the magnitude of this request, and we acknowledge that the interior of our beloved church has not seen a fresh coat of paint in over three decades. The ceiling, marred by candle soot and dust, no longer radiates the sacredness it deserves. Many of you have encountered issues with your pews, be it kneelers, splinters, or simply the creaking of wood that requires attention.

In the six years that Father Pat has led our congregation, he has introduced significant statues to our worship space. Now, it’s time to ensure our space is aesthetically pleasing, guiding our church and its parishioners forward, all for the greater glory of God.

Your support, whether through a donation, sponsorship, or prayer, is a vital contribution to this transformative endeavor. Together, we can make our church a true sanctuary, a place of reverence and inspiration for generations to come. Thank you for being part of this significant chapter in the history of St. Mary’s.

Children’s Liturgy of the Word

Volunteers Needed

We are in need of volunteers to continue our Liturgy of the Word for Children Ministry.  This ministry presents the Sunday readings to children, who have not yet received their First Holy Communion, in words that they can understand. 

Instruction takes place during the Liturgy of the Word and Homily of the Sunday 9:00 a.m. Mass, in the Prayer Room of the parish school.  Materials and training are provided for all leaders.

If you are interested in learning more about leading the Sunday class, please contact Laura Van Ham at lvanham@smip.org